All-out decorating for Easter is starting to play catch-up to Christmas decorating. Yep. It’s an egg-cellent way to welcome Spring. Easter egg lights, bunny-themed pictures, figurines, cards, candles, bunny salt-and-pepper shakers … it’s all out there. In the late 1890s, Easter cards, postcards and décor gained in popularity. The common theme is renewal, symbolizing the celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The themes of rebirth include green grass, flowers and baby animals (think bunnies). European immigrants brought their traditions to the United States in the 18th and 19th centuries, including the concept of an egg-laying rabbit. By the late 1800s, the tradition of children hunting for hidden Easter eggs had been hatched (so to speak). President Rutherford B. Hayes hosted the first official White House egg roll in 1878. Easter postcards, vases, plates, candy containers, toys, baskets, puzzles, and decorative eggs typically featured children, rabbits, chicks, flowers, and other themes of springtime.
Victorian era Easter cards, some of the most collectible of vintage Easter items, are full of baby bunnies, chicks and pastel flowers. In the United States, the heyday of lithographed and colorful Easter postcards was from about 1910 to 1920. Collectors drawn to the images and colors of these postcards can still find deals at flea markets and garage sales if they don’t mind rummaging through the shoe boxes full of postcards. Look for the images from the artists like Fitz Baumgarten, Ellen Clapsaddle and H.B. Griggs. Top publishers included Raphael Tuck and Gibson Art Company. We also suggest looking for ceramic or papier-mâché eggs and figurines with images of the season, such as Royal Doulton Bunnykins.
1954 Fisher Price Easter pull toy, Chick Cart, 9 ¼ in long, $96
Photo: Fox and Crane Online Auctions
Louis Vuitton purse, Easter, pink, Felicie, 2000s, leather and metal, 8.5 x 1 x 5 in., $2,375
Easter mechanical postcard, marked D.R.G.M. No 404704 by International Art Publishing Co., $123
Photo: Matthew Bullock Auctioneers
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